Postwar Progress: Oliver Kelley and the Grange

The American Civil War was a pivotal period for Oliver Kelley, his family, and his farm. Kelley had an appetite for innovation just as armies of the era had an enormous appetite for vast quantities of food. When the war came to an end, Kelley was called upon by President Johnson to assess the dire condition of farms in the South.

Kelley Farm staff Bob Quist and Ann Bercher explain how this work informed Kelley's thinking and sparked his idea for a national network of farmers.

Black and white photograph of children at an Indian boarding school work in a garden plot, c.1890s.

Children at an American Indian boarding school work in a garden plot

Children at an American Indian boarding school work in a garden plot, c.1890s.

Color scan of a Christelund Farm marketing letter, 1915.

Christelund Farm marketing letter

Christelund Farm marketing letter, 1915.

Map of the United States showing major and minor corn growing areas.

Major Corn-Growing Areas

Map of the United States showing major and minor corn growing areas.

Black and white photograph of a Settergren Seed Corn delivery truck, c.1930s.

Settergren Seed Corn delivery truck

Settergren Seed Corn delivery truck, c.1930s.

Black and white photograph of horse-drawn wagons hauling bags of seed corn to a railroad station for further transporting, c.1907.

Transporting seed corn by wagon and rail car

Horse-drawn wagons hauling bags of seed corn to a railroad station for further transporting, c.1907.

Color drawing of the four steps involved in the selective reproduction of better seed.

Selective Reproduction

Drawing of the four steps involved in the selective reproduction of better seed.

Black and white photograph of Alfred Carlsted counting sprouted kernels to determine the percent that germinated, 1914.

Germination Testing

Alfred Carlsted counting sprouted kernels to determine the percent that germinated, 1914.

Black and white photograph of Martin Carlsted turning the handle of a manual corn grader to grade and separate different sizes and shapes of kernels, c.1910.

Grading Kernels of Seed

Martin Carlsted turning the handle of a manual corn grader to grade and separate different sizes and shapes of kernels, c.1910.

Black and white photograph of Martin Carlsted turning the handle of a manual corn sheller to remove kernels, c.1910.

Shelling Ears of Corn

Martin Carlsted turning the handle of a manual corn sheller to remove kernels, c.1910.

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